Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The blessing of a two block walk

So many of us ladies want to have that quiet time, that time alone with Hashem. But with the reality of life, family, husbands, children, home, jobs outside the home, etc., not many of us have this precious time. I have come to find myself taking advantage of my 2 1/2 block walk to my little one I care for to chat with Hashem. Everyday I walk these 2 1/2 blocks about four times. Every time Hashem and I have a little chat. There is a stop light there, so I have a little more time than it would actually take. I know you may be thinking this is not much, but it is like gold to me. I am a woman after all so you would be surprised what all I get said in that time.
I do have some other spaces in my day, but they are sporadic as the day goes. I have really become accustomed to this particular time. In those couple of minutes I pour out my heart to Hashem about my family, my children, my beloved and his work. I ask for wisdom and that I should be a good wife, mother, friend, sister, etc. Sometimes I just look up and tell Abba I love Him.
You may also have some moments in your day that you could spend in conversation with Hashem. You may just not be aware of them. Keep an eye out for minutes to pour your heart out. I know it would be wonderful to have that hour with Hashem in hisbodetut, and I am certainly not discouraging any of you ladies from 'going for it,' but sometimes we can get discouraged when we cannot set aside a large amount of time for this. Instead of feeling discouraged because it seems an impossibility in our busy schedules let's take hold of the minutes given to us. For sure it is time well spent, no matter how small. You'll be amazed!

Quotes Especially for Ladies

Here are some quotes I found from Rebbe Nachman (The Alef Bet Book) that I thought would especially encourage us ladies:

Lighting the Sabbath candles promotes peace.

Teaching schoolchildren brings about an increase in tranquility.

A modest woman is rewarded with good children.

A person who has trust in G-d fears nothing.

Trust in G-d brings peace.

Words spoke calmly are accepted by those for whom they are intended.

By moving about or dancing, you can awaken feelings of happiness inside yourself.

Whatever you need -- big or small -- pray for it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Did you ever wonder if someone needed your stuff?

Check out FREECYCLE.org! I just found out about this spot and it looks great. It is a way to give away things you just aren't using or need anymore. It is also a place to maybe find an item you need but can't afford to buy right now. All items are given away and you can find things in your local area. You place an ad and they e-mail you to receive it and you can place an ad for things that you need and someone who has them can e-mail to give them to you free of charge. What a nice idea don't you think?

Friday, February 24, 2006


If you have never had the joy of seeing Simply Tsfat in concert you are truly missing an incredible experience! We had the privilege of having them here in the City of Brotherly Love last night and I cannot express to you the simcha and inspiration that these three men brought to our community. Thanks to the efforts of Chelkienu everyone there at the concert clapped and rejoiced in being the children of the King. Not only did we enjoy their energetic and inspiring music we also heard a wonderfully entertaining version of Rebbe Nachman's story the "Turkey Prince" with musical accompaniment and sounds effects. There was also a wonderful dvar torah about the use of music in avodat Hashem. The evening culminated in the men, young and old all getting up and dancing around! What a joy it was to see! Their new CD will soon be out so be sure to check it out, and if they come to your area be sure to check THEM out...or better yet go to Tsfat and visit! B'ezrat Hashem I will be there too!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Baby Steps Part 2

The baby has taken those first steps now and she is not so sure that this really is the best way to get around. She holds onto the furniture, timidly taking those shaky little steps and she cruises around a while. Holding on to each solid piece of furniture for security, she makes her way slowly around the room. Sometimes, if that is not quick enough for her, she will revert to crawling on the floor. Especially if she sees Mommy or Tatty! As time goes by and she becomes proficient in her new found skill she will walk more and more.

Babies cannot forget the excitement of walking! Eager to practice, they walk more and more, even running at times! As they develop, getting better, hardly ever do they return to crawling as they have found their new ambulatory skills to be the most efficient way of getting from place to place. You see once they have learned this skill, they do not go back. Young children, teenagers, adults, none of us purposely return to this crawling stage to get from one place to another. We cannot ever forget our days of walking. Once we reach this level we can never go back.

Recently at a shiur I heard this same message. The Rabbi was saying how once we reach each level spiritually we can never go back down from the Truth of that level we have learned. I really did not understand this at all. I thought about myself and how I have done things to lay them down again for a while. I began thinking about this concept and I realized that the truth is I could never forget a Torah Truth after I learned it. What does this mean? At those times in my life, after I have learned something and maybe not grasping it, I put it aside, I am just cruising the furniture for a while yet. I am just holding onto each piece of solid Torah Truth (the furniture) that I do know, to get around the room (my life). I take those small steps and sometimes I crawl a little. Finally then there are those days that I take my steps. As halting as they may be, I am still moving forward. I am still getting around, and B'ezrat Hashem (with G-d's help, my Abba's help) I will soon be running!

Baby Steps Part 1

This past week the little one I care for took her first step! You can hardly imagine the joy and elation that came from her bedroom that day. Her mother and I happened to BOTH be there when she took her first step towards her Mama! WOW! We both started squealing and dancing around the room! It is amazing that such a 'little' thing as taking a step could bring two grown women such absolute joy!

Rewind to earlier in the week when I was talking to my Racheli. She was so discouraged about how 'far behind' she was. "I am in this school and they are all FFB'S!" ( "Frum From Birth" meaning raised in Torah from birth) She did not think she was ever going to get it. She didn't read as fast as they do, daven (pray) as quickly, read Rashi as well etc. (Although between you and I, I can tell you she highly underestimates herself °Ü° ) To make matters worse, another young lady was taking some notes during a class and the teacher told her she really did not have to because she had such a solid knowledge of the subject. Note taking, he told her, was for the girls who did not have such a knowledgeable background. Now while I am sure he was trying to encourage the young lady and in no way was trying to insult my daughter, my daughter just felt worse and worse.

Baby steps, I told her, baby steps! Hashem is DELIGHTED with all you are learning and doing! It means so very much to him! Even more than a tzaddik's learning, I told her. Why? Because those baby steps toward Hashem are the truest, loveliest steps that anyone can take. Those precarious little steps made in trust and love are the most beautiful ever. And even if you tumble, you simply tumble forward into His arms. I told her to not underestimate herself and not to compare herself to others. What seems like tiny little baby steps to you and HUGE to Hashem! Just ask any loving parent...

The baby took her first steps and we jumped and we cried for joy!

Barukh Hashem!

PS. Thank G-d the girls at this seminary are stellar in all ways. They are nothing but kind and helpful to my Racheli, beautiful girls inside and out, but you know how it is...at the time she was still wishing she 'knew it all'.

A Very Good Question

My Tzivya and I stopped at a local convenience store to grab something real quick this week. She opted to stay in the car and wait for me as I was just going to run in and out. I was only gone a couple of minutes and when I returned I noticed she had been crying.

"What's wrong, Mami?", I asked her.

"Mama, did you know that our sentence in Mitzraim was cut short by two hundred years?"

"Yes, I did." I said

"Do you know why?", she asked.

"Not really, why?"

"Because Pharaoh had set other Jews over the slaves as overseers. He told them if they did not do their work that they were to beat them. The Jewish overseers were kind and compassionate to their fellow Jews. They did not beat them and so Hashem cut the sentence short."

I was still confused as to why she was crying.

Tzivya continued.

"You know how you get so upset when Racheli and I would argue?"


At that Tzivya started to cry again.

"Mama, imagine how Hashem feels about what is happening in Amona!"

I was stunned into silence, I couldn't say a word.

It is a very good question.

ADDENDA: While perusing some of my favorite blogs (see side bar) I think I found a very good answer to the very good question. Please check out "Does Hashem Really Care?"